The topics of Internet safety can and are very serious, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun when talking about them! The link below is how we kicked off our assembly at Northridge High School last year. We were able to talk one of the teachers into performing the Napoleon Dynamite dance in front of the whole school, so the students could record it from their phones and post it online. The goal and lesson was to see how quickly the video would spread. It only took a few minutes before roommates of the teacher were texting him complimenting him on his sweet dance moves! It just goes to show that once something is posted on the Internet, it is out there, for all to see.
Almost 73% of teens have a cell phones as of 2013. Almost half of those are smartphones. Kids are wanting cell phones younger and younger these days. How do you know if your child is ready? It is important to have open communication with your child and ask them a few questions.
- Are they able to understand the cost of providing and using a phone and willing to stay within the usage limits you set.
- Ready to take good care of a phone (i.e., isn’t likely to lose or break it).
- Able to manage his or her time and not use the phone for socializing or entertainment when there is schoolwork to be done.
- Willing to answer when you call and call you when it’s time to check in.
- Willing to talk with you about the apps on his or her phone and how they’re being used.
- Able to use the phone politely, in a way that respects the feelings of the people in the room or at the other end of the conversation.
- Willing to only share his or her location with close real-life friends and family.
- Ready to accept the consequences of breaking any family cellphone rules.
As parents we may not realize how much our kids can do on their phones, iPads, and any other technological device that they may have. It may seem overwhelming at times to think about our kids using technology because they literally have the world at their fingertips. The good news is that there is a lot we can do to protect them. This article gives great tips on how to keep our kids safe without completely eliminating technology from their lives.
West Point Jr. High School, in Davis school district, had a run in with a potential online predator last November. The event occurred just one week after we provided an Internet Safety assembly to the students there. Due to the information presented during the assembly, the West Point Jr High students who received contact from the predator, reported them immediately. Below is a link to the news article. Being involved with an organization that is helping to protect Utah’s youth from online dangers is so rewarding!
In March of 2014, Utah Netsmartz participated in an internet safety seminar put together by local PTA members. The event was attended by more than 1500 parents and students from the North Ogden area. Training was provided to students on how to avoid and deal with internet predators, how to keep your information safe and private on the internet, the consequences of sexting, and cyberbullying. This was an amazing event to be a part of. Below is the link to the article published in the Standard Examiner.